The Whatever Digest, 9/28/18

To start the day off on a high note, look what arrived today:

It’s the first author copy of The Consuming Fire, which is out in a week and a half. It looks fabulous. It feels fabulous. It is fabulous. And while we’re on the topic, I got a sneak preview the other day of the Booklist review of the novel, which is positive and features this line: “Scalzi once again demonstrates why he’s one of the most popular SF novelists currently writing.” So I have that going for me, which is nice.

This copy is not my copy, I’ll note. It goes to Krissy, who gets the first copy of everything. Because Krissy, that’s why.

Also: Hey! The book’s coming out in two and a half weeks, and which means now is a fine time to pre-order it so you have on release day. You can pre-order from favorite local bookseller, your favorite online bookseller, and over at Audible if you like audiobooks (this one is narrated by Wil Wheaton). And remember I’ll also be on tour. I’ll be talking more about that soon.

Getting the first finished copy of your book never gets old, by the way. It’s still amazing to me I get to do this thing for a living.


Oy, Kavanaugh. Honestly, that’s all I have for that spittle-flecked, embarrassing bundle of privileged rage, except to say that if this is how he is dry, I absolutely, 100% believe he’s capable of horrible things when he’s drunk — and he does like his beer, doesn’t he? It’s clear his appalling little show yesterday was aimed at one person in particular: President Trump, who likes his men angry and aggressive and dismissive of women. Well, Kavanaugh was certainly that, wasn’t he. I didn’t think he deserved to be on the Court before yesterday, but after yesterday I think where he really needs to be is in counseling. He’s got a lot to work on before he’s fit to be out in the world. That he’s still a candidate for the court, and still has a good chance of being confirmed, is an actual embarrassment and an insult.


On a more pedestrian note, this is the last “digest” entry for September; by the time Monday rolls around it will be October and I will be done with this particular experiment. I think it went pretty well, and it’s done what I wanted it to do, which was to give me an opportunity to write about more things, briefly, and then go on to other things during the day.

Will I continue it? Probably. I don’t know that I will want to do it every day, and there are days when I will I just want to do entries on one thing. But as an occasional thing when I have short thoughts on a number of topics, it’s a good format. And also, after a month of doing it, I think it’s been sufficiently reintroduced here as a format, so that if I do it later it doesn’t seem weird or out of place. So: You’ll probably see digests in the future, now and then. Thanks for reading along while I tried them out again.


And actually October on Whatever will be — probably a little hectic. I’m on tour for half the month (and then will be in France for the first week of November). The other half of the month I want to finish off a writing project. So I’ll be busy the whole month! Wheee! Being busy beats the alternative. Even so, expect lots of pictures out of hotel windows and hopefully some other stuff as well.


To wrap up these September digests, please enjoy this picture of Krissy and Smudge. I know I do.

42 Comments on “The Whatever Digest, 9/28/18”

  1. Just wanted to say that I’ve really enjoyed the digests and hope they continue as your schedule allows.

  2. Just thought I’d comment to say that I have enjoyed the digest format and hope that you continue to use it when you feel it appropriate. Cheers

  3. the daily writing has been fun- will look forward to whatever else comes in the future. but as long as there are regular cat pics, your duty will have been done. thanks!

  4. I wonder if the Republicans realize they’re writing their own suicide/homicide note. Choosing someone who seems to believe he’s above the law (shouldn’t have to be questioned by peons such as Senators on his fitness to SCOTUS, can lie to them with impunity) when they didn’t have to to get someone amenable to their other policy positions implies that they want someone on the Court who doesn’t believe in limitations on their power (or the President’s, anyway), and appear likely to get it. That seems like a good way to make a dictatorship. How well do they think that will work for them, let alone anyone else?

  5. We saw the real Kavanaugh yesterday, the entitled preppy for whom girls are there to be used and discarded as needed (or not), rather than the church-going,daughter-loving, soccer coach he Jekyll and Hydes to the world. If Susan Collins is really stupid enough (sadly, I think she is; look at her belief that McConnell was going to give her a vote on the Dreamers – Any Day Now, I guess) to believe his assurances that of course he’s going to uphold Roe v. Wade, it’s Established Law now, then one day soon she will wake up and be sadly disabused of that notion. Ditto Lisa Murkowski. We’ve seen clearly how much Kavanaugh’s word is worth, nothing.

  6. In Kavanaugh’s defense he talked about how he is Catholic. Catholic’s, as we all know, could never be sexual predators. Case closed.

  7. As a fellow prep-school student: did you have as much side-eye as I did over that “I couldn’t be at wild parties, I was too busy with academics and sports…” thing?

    Because at my school (which is older and arguably more elite than GP, so NYAH), the valedictorian-varsity-gotta-get-into-the-Ivies crowd had a huge amount of overlap with the dudes who majored in binge drinking and sexual antics.* The slackers got busted for pot on occasion; the nerds with connections took speed/Ritalin/etc to get through finals week and then had nervous breakdowns; but for the dudes who can put away a quart of vodka and still get head from tenth-graders on a regular basis, you want the varsity hockey team, many of whom did great in their classes.

    Also, I wasn’t in high school in 1982–I’m eighteen years younger than the scumbag in question** –but the stories I’ve heard (including the ones I wasn’t *supposed* to hear, as a faculty brat, or the ones my parents waited until I was thirty to tell me) suggest that the late seventies/early eighties in boarding schools had even more of that sort of thing going on.

    * All the ones I heard about were consensual, though some of them were icky–except the rumor about the dude who made a sex tape with someone’s pre-frosh cousin, which, gaaaah. If I knew then what I know now…
    ** And how the fuck am I within half-your-age-plus-seven range of a Supreme Court Justice? Maybe *I* should start binge drinking. Ugh.

  8. Glad to see the first book has arrived. I have two on pre-order. One for myself and one for my son. Quick question… Are you officially done with the Old Man’s War universe? Or might John Perry and Harry Wilson make a comeback in the future?

  9. @Paul, I believe the Tor contract includes o e OMW book

    John, however you want to write this blog – it’s yours! I have enjoyed the digest format and I think it works well.

    See you at your SF tour stop, I hope.

  10. Spending Election day in France… How will you survive without the screaming, rending of clothes, and doomsday reactions (no matter which party wins)…?

  11. I didn’t watch any of the Kavanaugh destructo-derby yesterday because I am trying to bring down my blood pressure.

    I have enjoyed the digest format. I’m pleased to read that you may continue to use it from time to time.

  12. I so much want to make an off color joke about the photo. But I won’t because I’d rightly get the mallet.

    Looking forward to reading the new book.

  13. I didn’t watch the ancillary shitshow yesterday, because, well. Sanity.

    However, reading facebook comments and tweets and such, and seeing the accompanying still photos of the near-apoplectic, disdainful manbaby, I have to wonder how the sitting Justices feel about having this Cheetolini-clone introduced into their working environment. Can’t be good contemplating trying to work out compromises and justice with such a lump of privileged sputum.

    Let alone letting him stand behind you at the coffee machine.

  14. Liked Smudge’s expression. Agree with you on K — pretty sure he will be confirmed anyway so that Roe v Wade can be overturned. But then how will R’s get votes, with their bete noir gone? Anyway, my book will arrive on release date and I’ve been enjoying the digest format. But I like pretty much everything you write! Just keep doing it! And enjoy France!
    I will vote as soon as my ballot arrives in the mail, so I won’t have to pay attention to the first week of November hysteria — and getting out of town for that is an awesome plan.

  15. Kavanaugh. Oy. On the bright side, we’ll be able to beat Republicans running for re-election to the Senate with that in 2 and 4 years as women get more and more pissed off.

    And there’s no Constitutional reason not to have 11 justices starting in 2021. It certainly wouldn’t make the discourse worse.

    I think the severe tactical focus of the GOP in recent years is going to bite them hard in the next few years.

    I grew up in the DC suburbs at the same time he did, but McLean not Bethesda and public schools (LHS 83) not private. We did have keggers in fields, or basements, as there was always someone who could buy it. But (so far as I know) none of the outright debauchery the preppies did. Except for Beach Week. Everyone who grew up around here knows about Beach Week so no one can honestly believe his claims that he was all upright and honest and never debauched in Ocean City or Rehobeth or Bethany. And if he’s willing to lie, or feels it necessary to lie, about that…

  16. Enjoyed the digests very much!

    In the discussion about The Consuming Fire you say it is out in a week and a half once and then two and a half weeks a little bit later I think it’s 2 and a half weeks (according to amazon). unless I am missing something.

  17. I’ve got my audio version on pre-order; reserved it as soon as Audible would let me. Glad to hear that it’s coming soon. Great pic of Krissy and Smudge! I’ve been deploying kitten pictures of my own for people in my social media group who need reminding that there are soft, fluffy, good things in the world. And I’ve been reading here (rarely commenting) for over a decade. I’m in for whatever format and however often you have something to share. Keep on doing this writing thing you love, and I will watch and enjoy from afar.

  18. I’m sure Krissy never tires of getting her book, hope she received it along with the nice dinner she deserves.
    Looking forward to seeing you on tour.

  19. Chiming in on the “thoroughly loved this month’s digests” opinion. Enjoy your travels and thanks for the fun!

  20. I hope people call/fax your senators today… last I checked they were planning a vote TOMORROW. Even if this ends up happening, we need a public outcry so they don’t think it is ok. Because if they do they’re just going to keep pushing that boundary. (faxzero provides free faxing to your senators)

  21. Lucy and the football, Flake and voting against Trump. Same thing. Same result every time.

    I like the digest format a lot. You rite gud – the skill you show in putting coherent thoughts together on disparate subjects in (I assume) 30 minutes or so is pretty damn impressive (leaving the books out of it, which I like a lot). I guess that’s the newspaper background coming through.

  22. I watched the Senate Panel in increasing disbelief; the guy can’t control himself. And if he can’t control himself now then what was he like as a drunken adolescent? And why would anyone think he was capable of serving as a judge at all, much less as a Justice of the Supreme Court?

    We have major, major problems here in the U.K. but at least we don’t have a system in which such a person could ever be appointed by politicians; the separation between the Courts and Parliament means it can’t happen.

    On a more cheerful note; congratulations on the new book, and I’ve enjoyed the digest format.

  23. I would like to echo other folks who have enjoyed the digests and hope that you would put more digests in future when warranted.

  24. I enjoyed the digest format very much, keep it up as you see fit.

    I think you might consider transferring the “ambulatory cloacal splotch” descriptor from Ted Cruz to Kavanaugh. Or just use it for both of them.

  25. Seconding Stevie’s comment: Of the many jaw-dropping aspects of yesterday’s horror, Brett the Fratboy’s utter lack of judicial temperament stands out — and I couldn’t help noticing that the Republicans suddenly fired their prosecutor and switched to pure conspiratorial RWNJ wingnut dog-whistling (e.g., Graham’s) and pure personal testimonials, abandoning any pretence of holding a hearing, when they noticed Fratboy was disintegrating under mild questioning.

    Also, as a Californian, I can say it’s a pleasure for a change to be able to be proud of Dianne Feinstein, not to mention the force of nature that is Kamala Harris. (And, I hope Dr. Ford now gets her life and privacy back, though if I ever encounter her in Palo Alto, I will probably give her a quiet gesture of respect, a smile, and a silent ‘thank you’.)

  26. Another thumbs up on the digests. Keep them up as you can. You always have a good take on the news and issues of the day. Called Flake last night, should probably follow up again. Our other Senator Kyle (temp replacement for McCain) is Kavenaughs sherpa, so no point even trying with him.

  27. I, too, like the digest format, it’s kind of like Twitter without the character limits. But I can certainly understand that it doesn’t need to be every day. Whatever Whenever.

  28. Past recent experience shows that it is presumptuous to believe that “this time they’ve lost it & they’ll bite the dust”. Whenever democrats have thought this since the 2016 presidential nominee selection, still conservatives have gotten away with it and won the day. The antics are just distractions, and they work. Dems tear their shirt that an harasser would be selected for supreme court, Reps tear their shirt at Dems delaying tactics, yet at the end of the day the candidate is voted forward. It’s a caricature and a massive shortcut, but remove all the noise – what remains is rich old white men* perpetuating the structure that protects their power.

    As our host has written: you want change, get out and vote!

    * not limited to the US. Some are “less old” like in France, in other parts of the world you have to replace “white” by whatever ethnicity has historically prevailed, but overall the concept holds. Gasp, even women are not immune to the deviance of power, see how Myanmar’s most famous political prisoner is now treating her opponents…


    Digest are cool & Big ideas are awesome & Sunsets are great. Cats are the best.

  29. 1) OMG. Smudge is adorable. 2) I’ve really enjoyed these digest posts. I hope you are inclined and able to keep up with them.

  30. Congrats. I am glad because I need a distraction and the Consuming Fire will be one.

    But, lo, it had come to pass that the FBI is back in the game. Seems Der Trump is already lining him up to give the old Yale kick in the ass. There is a reason the conservative type didn’t want the FBI investigating. I would give odds that Kavanaugh is homeless within a week.

    In other news; Jeff Flake’s heart grew three sizes today.

  31. Enjoyed this digest format. I am glad that you will use it at times going forward. I am pleased that there will be a supplemental FBI investigation into the “credible accusations” to be done by one week from today. Odds are still that the senate will vote for confirmation late next Friday or Saturday. I think the true fallout will come in the November elections and in the 2020 elections when a blue wave washes the Republicans out of control of the Congress and White House. Senator Flake, R, might be a good VP candidate for the Democratic ticket to make that blue wave happen. Such a bipartisan ticket could be wonderful.

  32. I have to admit, the thing which got me with the Kavanaugh performance was this was a freakin’ JOB INTERVIEW. He was supposed to be impressing all of his eventual employers (who are, I think the American People, right? Not just the one president? I’m Australian, I don’t know the full ins and outs of your supreme court selection process). Instead, what you got was an infantile tantrum where he basically complained about the whole process of having to be interviewed in the first place.

    If he’d been anything other than a highly privileged white heterosexual man in the USA, he would have got a highly unimpressed “thank you for your time; we’ll let you know” within the first five minutes.

    Maybe you folks in the USA need to be explaining to the kids that no, this isn’t the way job interviews usually go, and no, don’t try this if you have one coming up.


    I appreciated the digest format. I found them interesting, and it was nice seeing your version of “five things make a post”. If you want to keep them up, I’m not going to be complaining.

  33. I’m enjoying the delicious irony of Trump’s nominee being held up by Senator Flake and the FBI, both of whom have been tweet-flamed by Trump.

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